Monday 25 September 2017

Garda 'destroyed' by sex claim

Mother of girl (4) made up assault story

Claire O'Brien

A garda has been personally destroyed by a false allegation that he interfered with a four-year-old girl in her home, a garda superintendent has said.

The girl's mother made up the story to prevent their child from going into care, because she had a "horrific" past in state institutions, Portlaoise Circuit Court has heard. Her father went along with the lie.

Superintendent John Moloney was giving evidence against the couple, who cannot be named to protect their daughter's identity, after they pleaded guilty to making false allegations that an officer had come to their home, taken down the child's trousers and caused her to run crying from the room.

He told Portlaoise Circuit Court the allegation was groundless but "spread like wildfire" in their rural Laois area and "destroyed the man in his community".

They had never met the garda who the superintendent said had "an impeccable record and an exemplary disciplinary history".

But they chose him because he hadn't taken their side in a squabble between them and others in the area.

Fearful

The girl's mother panicked after the HSE became involved in her daughter's care.

The woman had already buried a child because of a heart problem and her older daughter had been taken into care more than 10 years ago. She noticed blood in her child's underwear when she picked her up from childcare in April 2009.

She phoned the child-minder, who then called the HSE because she was fearful for her own reputation in a possible sexual offence investigation.

The blood was due to a urinary tract infection but monthly meetings followed with the HSE.

At the time of the alleged offence, the accused garda had been dealing with an attempted armed robbery at a nearby post office.

The four-year-old had not been abused by anyone.

After a detailed investigation the couple was arrested and the woman immediately admitted she'd made up the story.

'They twisted and turned the truth to minimise the damage on themselves in the community," said the superintendent.

The sentencing hearing continues today.

Irish Independent

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